LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Youngsters Hamza, McRae hope to maintain family rally tradition

In 2018, Hamza collected the highest points tally on the 2WD Non Turbo Class of the National Autocross Championship series but lost the title to Safina Khan as he hadn't met the 75 per cent threshold of participation.

In Summary

•Hamza Anwar, son of Asad, finished 5th overall while McRae Kimathi, Phineas Kimathi's son came 8th at this past weekend's ARC Equator Rally

•They are the latest among young rally drivers who want to emulate the exploits of their legendary dads and uncles who excelled in the sport

•Both hoping for a great performance at the WRC Safari Rally in June 24-27

Hamza Anwar (in blue) with navigator Riyaz Ismail in Naivasha
Hamza Anwar (in blue) with navigator Riyaz Ismail in Naivasha
Image: SAMSON ATEKA

Asad Anwar and Phineas Kimathi were drivers of national repute some years back. Their exuberant driving style and extraordinary commitment behind the wheel earned them a legion of loyal fans, not to mention their rally-sport prowess.

 As such, there was a sense of palpable anticipation when their sons took to the demanding ARC Equator Rally route course in Naivasha. Hamza Anwar, son of Asad, finished 5th overall while McRae Kimathi, Phineas Kimathi's son came 8th.

The youngsters displayed awesome cockpit potential with a solid drive from the back of the field to credible finishes. Kimathi and Hamza now lead the KNRC Division 1 and 2 Championships after Equator Rally.

Racing Dynasties

Hamza and McRae are the latest in a long tradition in local motorsports where second-generation drivers pick up the mantle from their rally driver parents and legends.

A myriad of early rally legends have subsequently seen their sons — or in some cases, other family members — show promise where they once conquered.

The list of second generation drivers is endless when you come to think of the likes of Vic Preston Senior and Junior, Frank Tundo and his son Carl, John Rose and son Lee Rose, Dalgit Chager and his son Baldev.

Asad Anwar and his elder brother Azar Anwar were drivers of national repute. Asad was revered for his antics on twisty sections and indeed a master of special stages.

Azar, on the other hand, is a three-time Kenya champion and an outright Safari Rally winner in 2006 with George Mwangi.

In 2006, Asad racked up his maiden victory at the KCB Mavuno Loans Rally in Nanyuki, toppling his elder brother Azar from the top of the KNRC table, which he had virtually made his own since the start of the season.

Phineas,  current CEO of WRC Safari Rally Kenya, gave Hyundai Motors of South Korea their first world recognition — the Safari Rally Formula 2 title in 1999.

McRae Kimathi, son to rally legend and CEO of WRC Safari Rally Phineas Kimathi.
McRae Kimathi, son to rally legend and CEO of WRC Safari Rally Phineas Kimathi.
Image: SAMSON ATEKA

In father's wheel tracks 

When Hamza Anwar (son of Asad) took to the start ramp on Equator, little did he know he would be creating history. Not only did the 22-year-old coast-based rookie become the youngest finisher on Equator, he also became one of the many sons of a former driver to compete in the African Rally Championship.

Hamza is excited by how he has fared by following in his father’s and uncle's wheel tracks.

In 2018, Hamza chalked up the highest points tally on the 2WD Non Turbo Class of the KCB Kenya National Autocross Championship  series but lost the title to Safina Khan as he hadn't met the 75percent threshold of participation.

Asked about his Equator success, Hamza explained: "We expected to be amongst the top 10 if we kept to our strategy — which we did — although it was extremely challenging  for my first marathon kind of event in Kenya and driving a 4WD on Safari routes."

With Equator event being a dry run for Safari and indeed, a navigators' rally, Hamza is singing praises of his navigator Riyaz Ismail.

"My navigator was well experienced and did a good job all round. He was spot on and called the correct notes. We were seeded 4th last on road, which was a little disturbing but nevertheless we worked our way up to 4th on Day 1 before losing time to the much more experienced international drivers. Our plan was never to attack but get to the end clean. We lost some time on Day 2 losing fourth place. But that's rallying," he explains.

Hamza is hoping to debut at the WRC Safari in his bid to keep the racing fire burning in their family. "It was great to explore WRC Safari Rally routes. Hopefully, it will be great to rub shoulders with the crème de la crème of world motorsport."

McRae Kimathi in recent Equator Rally in Naivasha
McRae Kimathi in recent Equator Rally in Naivasha

McRae Kimathi posted his best possible time to finish eighth in the Equator Rally. Kimathi, navigated by Shameer Ole Yusuf, was excited to finish  ahead of three- time Safari Rally champion Baldev Chager.

"WRC Safari Rally Championship organizers did a wonderful event. I would also like to thank  the government for allowing ARC Equator Rally to go on. This is a happy moment for me since Baldev is right behind me," said Kimathi.

The young upcoming driver in the Kenya National Rally Championship, finished 22nd during the 2019 Safari Rally candidate event and fifth on KCB Meru Rally.

 

MORE ABOUT HAMZA ANWAR:

Date Of Birth: 27/09/98

Team: Hamza Anwar

Motorsport Year Commenced Racing: 2017

First Car: Toyota Sprinter 

Autocross Car: Evo buggy 

Role Models: Asad Anwar , Ian Duncan , Jim Heather Hayes , Rob Collinge

 Current Car :Gvb N16 (sponsorship depends)

Previous navigator:: Harshil Limbani;

Autocross Debut: Round 3 of the Autocross Championship Kipeto / Champagne Park 

Sponsors: Intra Africa Assurance 

CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS

 4th overall in Tanzania \uD83C\uDDF9\uD83C\uDDFF (Guru Nanak 2020)

Runners up  KCB Autocross 2WD NT Championship in 2018

5th overall Equator Rally

10th overall on his second rally in a 2WD (2018) 

 

ABOUT MCRAE KIMATHI

Date of Birth: 4th January 1995

Commenced Racing: 2015

First Rally: Machakos Rally (retired)

ACHIEVEMENTS

2017 second auto x 4WD Turbo

2018 fourth auto x 4WD turbo

Finished the WRC candidate event

2019 5th overall Meru Rally (1st in Division 3 and 1st in Group N)